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Tigers' Season Ends in the First Round at State

Updated: 5 days ago

Thursday morning the Dundy County Stratton Tigers played as the #5 seed in the Boys Class D1 State Tournament against #4 seeded Ainsworth at Pinnacle Bank Arena. DCS fought hard until the end, but ended up losing to the Bulldogs, 62-55.

In the first quarter, Dundy County Stratton knocked down some shots early to have a 7-4 lead. From there, the Bulldogs used a 10-3 run to close the quarter and Ainsworth led 14-10. The size of Ainsworth didn't necessarily bother the Tigers, but the athleticism of Carter Nelson and Trey Appelt caused a few issues that DCS adjusted to.

The second quarter started with a bang for DCS as August Shaw hit a three and momentum looked like it was going to be in favor of the Tigers. It ended up being a quarter that the teams went back and forth for the eight minutes.

Ainsworth led 29-24 going into the intermission.

In the third quarter, Ainsworth came out swinging, and went up by 10, 36-26. The Tigers though, didn't let that phase them and they began chipping away at the lead. DCS got within three at 40-37 late in the period. The Tigers were down by just five going into the fourth quarter, 42-37.

To start the final stanza, Ainsworth went on a run to get back up by 10 again, but those Tigers just would not go away. They continued to claw back and made it a fight. With 55 seconds to go, DCS was down 57-51. They got another bucket to make it 57-53. But, Carter Nelson took an outlet pass and threw it down hard. Kerchal took it the other way and scored and again the Tigers refused to quit. But, the Bulldogs connected on some free throws and closed the game.

Ainsworth was led by Trey Appelt with 21 points, Carter Nelson had 16, and Traegan McNally had 13. They move on to the semifinals and will play GACC, the #8 seed who upset #1 North Platte St. Pat's. This matchup will be on Friday at 9:00 A.M. from the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

DCS was led by Jackson Kerchal with 19 points and Lane Bybee had 11.

We caught up with Kris Freeland, Head Coach of the Tigers and he was pleased with their effort. "I thought our kids did a great job executing the game plan, if we take a couple of backdoor cuts away early that's a difference in the ball game...We'll be back. I have no doubt we'll be back... We have nothing to hang out heads about because we battled until the end."

Congratulations on a great season to the Tigers. They end the year at 22-6.


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